Rebels Hold Key Libyan Towns as UN Considers Intervention

Forces loyal to Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi launched a two-pronged attack on Tuesday and Wednesday, on Misrata near Tripoli and on Ajdabiya in the east, with an eye to controlling all major population centers from the Tunisian border to the gates of Benghazi, the center of the rebel movement.

Through Wednesday into Thursday morning, the rebels managed to fight off both assaults, remaining in control of both cities for now. Some reports said that the rebels had pushed Qaddafi’s military 30 miles west from Ajdabiya, after the city had initially fallen to the troops and armor from Tripoli.

Further to the east, the esprit de corps of the rebels continues to be high, according to Western reporters there.

The US is increasingly favoring intervention, and not just a no-fly zone to protect civilians from Qaddafi’s air strikes. US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice is said to be advocating a Kosovo-like intervention to roll up Qaddafi’s armor and stop its victorious advance to the east. Russia and China, both with veto powers, have typically opposed external intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign nations. A vote comes today at the UNSC. If the measure is vetoed, the US has few options other than another unilateral or ‘coalition of the willing’ -type assault.

From the outside, it looks at though aid to the rebels will come too late. Qaddafi is pledging a major push later today, Thursday.

Aljazeera English has video:

3 Responses

  1. Wow! Those women aren’t what I saw when I traveled across that area in the late ’70s!

    They look like what are called “Osaka Oba-chan” in Japan; not to be trifled with!

    “He will be finished, not us” Let’s hope so.

  2. Its worth noting that Western powers have not stated their ultimate objectives regarding Libya. Yet, in the world of power politics, ultimate objectives are seldom revealed.
    However, such objectives may be determined by analyzing the strategies of a given actor.

    In the case of the United States, it’s latest strategic proposal is to impose a “no fly or drive zone” over Libya.
    Under such a policy, U.N Security Council members, Russia and China, would likely veto the U.S. proposal which might then “excuse” the U.S. to act unilaterally.

    The consequence of a U.S. controlled no fly or drive zone would then lock both Libyan factions in place and would effectively divide the country in to opposing entities of East and West.

    Succinctly, under such analysis one might conclude that the “ultimate objective” of the U. S. is to implement a divide-and-conquer strategy. Doing so would then pave the way for American special interests to gain control of petroleum resources thus providing the U.S. with a firmer grip over recalcitrant European countries that are highly dependent on Libyan oil.

    • Actually, since Gaddafi said that he wouldn’t do business with anyone who attacked him, that would logically cause him to swing his portion of the oil over to Russian and Chinese companies, which does us no good. If we had simply backed the rebels in the first place, we could have bagged the whole country since the rebels would have been open to signing new contracts. Now we’re stuck with another Saddam Hussein post-1991 situation; we have to embargo his oil because of his abuses, but that causes prices to go sky-high, which is poison for any politician in an elected government.

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